This year there were 52 appeals for donations to charities. We missed one Sunday, when there was an extended Meeting for Business instead.
Thank you to those who gave the appeals, as it is difficult to convey the needs of the charity in just three minutes when everyone is looking forward to coffee and conversation. With your help we raised £6,821.69 this year.
As agreed with the Learning and Action hub and Meeting for Business, until 2020 we have 6 appeals a year for organisations in Bristol which support refugees. In 2018 we raised a total of £920.18 for five organisations: Refugee Women of Bristol, for which we appealed twice; the City of Sanctuary Transport Fund; Bristol Refugee Rights; Bristol Hospitality Network and the Bristol Defend Asylum Seekers Campaign.
We also have six appeals a year for organisations supporting the education of disadvantaged children and young people in developing countries, including organisations with a connection to Redland Friends. This year we actually had seven such appeals, for Ripple Africa, the Za Foundation, CITA, ALALAY, Focus on Your Strengths, Ramallah Friends School and Brummana Friends School, raising a total of £1,001.80.
As every year, there were six appeals for Quaker Peace and Social Witness. In 2018 we raised £478.37 in total, £80 less than we raised last year. This is low compared to the amount raised for other causes, perhaps because many Friends already give to QPSW through the annual contribution scheme.
The CYP chose to support three charities this year, raising a total of £318.54 for Bee the Change, ALALAY and Cool Earth.
The amounts collected each week varied enormously, due either to the number of people in the Meeting or to the cause itself. The average was just over £131, which is £4 less than the average for 2017. Just occasionally, a Sunday appeal will raise more than £200. This year, five appeals collected more than £200 each. These were: One25 working with sex workers in Bristol; North West Bristol Food Bank; the David Nott Foundation; the Julian Trust; and the Za Foundation which is based in Portishead and works with young people and adult mentors in South Africa, using drama, music and song to teach other young people about HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancy, and drug abuse.
We continue to encourage Friends to give online if they prefer, so that they can claim Gift Aid, which is not possible with the cash we collect on Sundays. Website addresses for online donations are included in the newsletter our clerk sends out every week. Online donations are not included in the amounts given here.
Please do get in touch with anyone in the appeals group if there is a charity you would like to raise money for. You do not have to give the appeal if you would prefer not to, but we do very much welcome offers from anyone willing to give an appeal.
Helen Watkins, Hilary Mayne, Jenni Harris.